Twin Cities scrap metal recycler penalized for polluting Hennepin County creek

Contact: Anne Perry Moore, 218-302-6605

An oily film, discoloration and an obnoxious odor in Bridal Veil Creek resulted in an enforcement action for improper industrial stormwater discharges and hazardous waste mismanagement  at a Twin Cities facility.

Metro Metals Corporation, which has been conducting recycling operations in St. Paul since 2003, agreed to pay a $20,000 penalty and complete eight compliance actions as part of a Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) industrial stormwater and hazardous waste enforcement agreement, the agency announced today.

Site inspections, photographs and detectable odors confirmed multiple occurrences of improper industrial stormwater discharges and used oil storage between May 2015 and May 2016.

In addition to paying the penalty, Metro Metals agreed to improve existing stormwater best management practices, install and implement new BMPs, document completed debris and spill cleanups, create a BMP monitoring and maintenance plan, and correctly store used oil containers and manage related wastes appropriately. Many of the corrective actions have already been completed.

The stipulation agreement is one tool that the MPCA uses to achieve compliance with environmental laws.  When calculating penalties, the MPCA takes into account how seriously the violation affected the environment, whether it was a first time or repeat violation and how promptly the violation was reported to appropriate authorities.  The agency also attempts to recover the calculated economic benefit gained by failure to comply with environmental laws in a timely manner.

For more information, see the MPCA's Enforcement webpage.